VCU outlasted a scare from the visiting Billikens of Saint Louis to improve to 22-6 over all on the season and 13-2 in the A10 to remain in sole possession of first place.
SLU entered the season as the pre-season pick to win the A10 race, but in an ironic twist of fate the Billikens currently sit in a log jam in the middle of the conference with an 8-5 records.
The Rams used 7-17 shooting from beyond the three point line in the first half to separate themselves and take a 41-27 lead into the locker room. The Billikens on the other hand were held scoreless from long range by the stout VCU defense.
The second half saw those scripts flipped.
In the final 20 minutes, VCU went 0-8 from long range, while SLU shot connected on 4 of their 11 attempts from deep.
VCU would finish the night shooting 28% from three, and 45% overall.
Marcus Evans led the Rams with three long distance connections en route to his game-high 20 points. It was the second game in a row for Evans to score at least 20 points.
Issac Vann was the only other Ram in double-digit scoring with 16 points on 5-9 shooting overall.
Vann and Evans each had a team-high 4 assists on the night.
Vann’s biggest shots of the night may have come from the free throw line though. With SLU gaining momentum and having pulled with three points with only 29 seconds remaining, Vann knocked down two free throws to push the Rams lead to a two possession game.
The Billikens committed 19 turnovers to the Rams 12 miscues.
VCU was able to turn those 19 SLU turnovers into 22 points.
The 71-65 win extends VCU’s winning streak to it’s current 9-game stand.
The Rams will return to action Saturday, March 2nd, as they head just across town to take on their geographical rival, the Spiders of UR.
That game is set to tip at 4pm EST.